iPads & Apps for Kids
Berkeley Parents Network >
The Arts, Books, Entertainment, & Media >
iPads & Apps for Kids
We'll be traveling across the country with our 20mo daughter
in December and since it's a long (5 or 6 hrs) flight, we've
decided to bring an iPad. However, we've never really used
one, and have no idea what apps to get. She doesn't really
watch tv, though sometimes enjoys videos or herself or other
kids singing/dancing. I was hoping for an app that lights
up or something when you touch/draw with it - interactive
and very simple. Any ideas? Also, any good video ideas she
might enjoy?? Thanks! Not Ready for this long flight!
Here are my iPad app recommendations for toddlers. We are
app aficionados and my kids are play testers for a couple of
developers. You'll be set with any 4 or 5 of these apps.
Injini Child Development Game Suite, Endless Reader, all the
Stella and Sam Zinc Roe Games, Forest Flyer by Sago Sago,
Present for Milo, Not Without Bear, Noodle Words, elias
Match, Wee Alphas, Zoo Train, Toca Doctor, Toca Tea Party,
Toca Band, Doodlecast for kids, Kid in Story Book Maker
(that one is great for creating memory books of your
travels.), My Playhome, My PlayStore, Cookie Doodle,
Tangrams, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore,
Match Blitz, Doodle Critter Math, Felt Board, Lazoo drawing
apps, Art Maker by ABC's Play School, Write My Name, PBS
Kids video player but you need internet service for it to
For movies, I like the shorts instead of full length so I
have more space on my iPad for apps.
Tangled Every After
Oktapodi (love love this one)
Jack-Jack Attack (Pixar)
For the Birds (Pixar)
Day and Night (Pixar)
The Fantastic Flying Book of Mr. Morris Lessmore (companion
to the app - won academy award)
iPad and learning app fan!
I can't wait to read what others suggest, as I'm always
looking for new apps for my 21-month-old.
Right now he loves a few apps: Forest Flyer, Peekaboo Barn,
Peekaboo Zoo (anything Peekaboo is good), Storybook apps
like the Beanbag Kids Little Red Riding Hood, Little Town,
Animals and Tools for Babies, and simple apps with shapes
and colours (they ask him to tap the circle, tap the heart,
The iPad is a great tool for a flight, but make sure you
bring a couple of other toys and books as well. Toddlers'
short attention spans require cycling through a variety of
different types of entertainment! T
We are in the same boat - no TV or screens in our house, but
recent car rides and airplane rides had us turn to the
tablet for backup entertainment.
My 22 month old loves Peekaboo Barn, which is cute and
simple. He also loves an app called Talking Ginger, which is
a cat that makes sounds and purrs when you scratch him. I am
a total novice, but Peekaboo Barn seems 'classier' to me
than Talking Ginger, which is free and has ads for other
apps and is just generally cheesier looking. It's also
harder for my son to use and he tends to quit the app when
he touches the wrong area of the screen. But he loooooves
You might also want to try downloading some episodes of
We found that it was better to 'practice' this stuff with
him before the trip for a week so he could learn how to be
entertained and sit still long enough to watch the screen.
Sounds like a funny problem to have, but if your child
hasn't watched TV they might not really know how to zone out
to it. Also will give you a chance to see whether you
need kid-sized headphones. My son wouldn't keep them on his
The only other issue is that after your trip, you may find
your child asking incessantly for the tablet. whatever
it takes on planes and car trips
My toddler loves Sandra Boynton books on the iPad - we have
Barnyard Dance and Blue Hat, Green Hat. They are interactive
and fun. He also likes The Monster at the End of This Book
and Another Monster at the End of This Book, the Sesame
Street stories with Grover and Elmo, also very interactive
but might require some adult help at 20 months. He also love
an app called PianoBall. Good luck with the flight! thank
goodness for ipads
My child didn't really engage with ipad apps or videos until
closer to 2 1/2 or 3. We first flew at age 2 and he would
only watch a video for a few minutes. At your child's age, I
would focus on bringing a bunch of novel items and expect
that you will likely have to entertain your child most of
the flight unless you have a particularly placid child.
Bring along a lot of snacks, books, and some new toys. You
can find a lot of ideas on the internet for small toys to
take on planes (google 'air travel with toddlers' or
something like that). One of the best 'toys' I had was an
empty seven-day pill case (the cheap kind with the plastic
snapping lids). He spent 20 minutes opening the lids and
putting raisins in the little boxes. Good luck!
I usually stream movies but of course I cannot do this on an airplane. How do folks
transfer DVDs from a pc to ipad? Where do you ''store'' them on the ipad? I seem to
have a storage issue when I download TV shows as I keep getting messages that there
is not enough space for more than 1-2 TV shows in ''usage''. Maybe I'm not storing
them in the right place? I keep reading on BPN about how great iPads are for movies
on airplanes I can't figure out how to do this.
Still using a DVD player on Airplanes
I just rent movies from iTunes and download them before the trip. You have 30 days
to watch them (but once you start watching you have 24 hours to finish or they
disappear). If you rent HD movies you can usually fit 2 or 3 (depending on what
else is on your iPad). If you don't need HD you can fit a few more. Also lots of
TV shows/series on iTunes if you want to catch up with some episodes while flying.
So much easier than taking all the time to do the transfers, compression, etc.
Renting movies averages $4.99 each; TV shows are either $1.99 or .99 to rent or
love flying with my iPad
I asked my kid and he says his are on Vimeo, on the iPad. He's 7 and gets around
pretty good on that thing.
Download a program called HandBrake that will let you rip your DVDs to your computer, then
upload to IPad. I think Vimeo would require a web connection and renting off of iTunes
wouldn't be good if you wanted to watch the same movie there and back. We do long drives a
lot and this has been great.
i figured out how to make a soft copy of my movies---put DVDs onto my computer--
but I had trouble putting them on the iPad. then I came across good reader and
it made it so easy!
also my son loves to watch videos and pics of himself and play some games. if
you get lucky, some airlines like ANA have a selection of on demand videos for
There is a free and easy to use program called Format Factory that is very useful
this task and may others.
Check it out here:
An A/V Professional
A couple times a month our almost five year old is allowed
to play games on our iPAD as a treat. We are looking for
suggestions on some fun apps for games, preferably ones that
are free. Thank you!
There is a free iPad app called 'Todas las letras' for
helping kids learn the Spanish alphabet. It has audio, cute
drawings, and interactivity, and it's free with no ads. I
created the app for my 5-year old daughter, maybe yours will
like it too. Dan Mc
I'm not sure when your kid will be ready, but when he is, I
recommend Scrabblenauts for any kid who is learning to
It's not designed as an educational game, so it's actually
fun. However, as a side benefit, it does a great job in
teaching kids words and spelling. The way it works is, each
level is a puzzle, and you have to spell words to solve it.
Anything you can spell, it appears. So a typical level
would be 'give everyone what they want' and you'd have to
give the policeman maybe handcuffs, the chef a cooking
The trick is, you have to be able to spell the words to make
the objects appear, so at first the kid will ask you how to
spell something, but eventually they will be able to spell
it themselves. Alex H.
I recommend checking out Mind Leap www.mindleaptech.com. It
is a really easy to navigate review site for iPhone and iPad
apps. While it focuses specifically on educational apps,
many are fun games that happen to be educational -and you
can search by grade (PK-1st for your child). My first grader
likes BrainPop, WordGirl and Super 7. App Fan
A friend's company just released an app for the ipad, based
on Dean Morrissey's 'Ship of Dreams'. It has three reading
levels and lots of educational and fun interactivity,
My eight year old daughter has saved her allowance,
birthday money, etc. and wants to purchase an iPad. **I**
don't even have an iPad, mostly because we are not wealthy
by any means and I just can't afford the expense! Should
I allow such a young child to own something so expensive?
Part of me thinks it's **her** money and she should be
able to buy what she wants with it. The other part thinks
it's just too expensive and extravagant for a child. What
do you think?
Unsure about iPad
It's great your daughter was able to save that much money on her own,
instead of falling prey to spending money as soon as she got it on
cheap, instant-gratification items! I would let your daughter get the
iPad, especially if she's the responsible type. My son, at age 10,
also had enough birthday money and saved allowance to buy an iPad, and
I let him. (I don't have one either!) He uses it mostly to play games
(e.g., Zombies vs. Plants), watch Netflix instant movies (we don't
have cable TV) and YouTube videos, play music (using iTunes and a
sound dock he bought the next year), download books, and do Internet
searches for school work. Before I let him get the iPad we went over
rules (e.g., limits on screen time, it had to stay in the house, kinds
of things he was allowed to watch on Netflix, no realistic violent
games, etc.). His is 1st generation, so he doesn't have a built-in
camera, which would have been nice so he'd be able to Skype with
out-of-area relatives. He's also taken it on vacations and long car
rides (his has enough power for 8 hours). One suggestion: buy it
online so you can have her name and phone number engraved on the
back. Now relatives and friends can always please him by giving him
iTunes cards as gifts!
FYI, this past year, I bought my now 12 year old son a TINY iPod Nano
($130) as a special xmas gift, and THAT was a damned mistake! It was
stolen out of his backpack within the first week (I didn't want him to
take it to school, but he does have a long walk/bus ride to/from home,
so he convinced me it would be okay). He broke into his coin bank and
within a few more months of allowances was able to replace it. That
time I insisted it be purchased online so it could be engraved with
his name/number. Within a week, that one's power button failed. Apple
was awesome, and it was replaced right away. The third one was in MY
jeans pocket, and it went through the wash. I'm paying him back, but
he's decided to save the money (allowance and paid extra work from me
and grandma) to get the iTouch, because we both now feel that the Nano
is cursed and the larger iTouch will be easier to keep track of!
If she earned the money, fair and square, then it is not
your decision how she chooses to spend her money.
An iPad with the right apps will be a great learning tool.
Mom in smart nerdy family
Good for your daughter! She saved for something she really
wanted. And you must be doing a great job to teach her the
value of saving. You should absolutely allow her the ability
to achieve the reward she desires after foregoing smaller
treats to save for her iPad. You want her to continue to see
hard work, focus, and determination can reap lots of rewards
in life. Good for your daughter! She's going to LOVE her
iPad. This will be a terrific lesson, one of those ''aha!
moments'' that she will remember for years to come.
Hope I can teach the same to my daughter
I would let her buy the iPad but restrict the internet access for
it. As an 8 year old, she can't get her own anyway (she can't legally
enter into a contract with a provider). You don't want her using the
internet out of your sight at this point.
Also, your daughter is probably much more responsible and obedient
than my son, but just given how seductive these devices can be, you
should take it away at bedtime and put it somewhere she can't get at
it during the night. My son was getting up and sneaking downstairs to
retrieve his smartphone so he could use it while I was asleep. I
finally figured this out and now it sits on my nightstand once he goes
Wow! I am impressed by your daughter's ability to save money and
stick with a goal. I say - go for it. I am just starting to realize
how essential technology is for the younger generations. An iPad
sounds like a luxury item for us, but for young people, they are taken
for granted as part of communication. learning, and connecting.
Either the iPad will live up to her expectations or it will sit around
collecting dust. Either way, that will be a learning opportunity in
itself. You can still have appropriate oversight over when and how
she uses it.
I bet she will let you borrow it sometimes.
Learning tech from my kids
First let me say both my husband and I are very technologically savee and
have a good deal of technology in our home. However, our daughter at 6 is
not yet allowed much if any access to it or ''screen'' time in general. We
have agreed that at about 8-9 will will increase her access to devices and
computers as we prefer she spends time being creative, reading, or playing
imaginative games. At 8 I could see allowing my child to buy and Ipad with
her own money as long as there were specific limits and oversite agreed to
up front. For example, I would set specific time limits as I would with TV,
such as 1 hour per day maximum during weekedays and maybe
occasionally longer on weekends for a movie. Additionally I woulld be sure
to monitor what games are on it, what videos she can see (you tube has
both kid and adult vidoes), and her genral access to the internet. I would
recommend that the Ipad not be left in her room when it is not during an
agreed upon time to use it. Ultimately, I believe that as long as she is
taught to respect limits, even though its ''hers'' and given good tools to
to navigate it well by you and her dad, it could work out fine and be a good
techie with limits
We have a family ipad and my 8yo son has an itouch. We are
not big proponents of gadgets, electronics or tv, but we are
not anti any of those things either. I think the ipad is
great. I am not sure if I'd let my kid have one just to
themselves, but the games, books, educational things we have
are great. My 6yo daughter loves the drawing/painting apps,
games, etc. My 8yo loves angry birds, planst vs. zombies,
etc. The games are usually reasonably prices, and some are
free, as opposed to getting a WII or xbox where the games
are $50 each. They can watch movies or shows, play music. we
even have a piano app. So, if she has the money, I don't see
anything wrong with it. Just LIMIT the time! Our kids get
their choice of screen time for just 30 minutes during the
week and only if homework is done and rooms are picked up.
I think that if she is truly buying it completely with her
allowance she should be allowed to do it it would be a good
learning experience. If you do buy one think of getting a
refurbished Ipad 2 with extra memory instead of the 3 once you
start putting lots of pictures , videos and songs on the pad
the standard 16gig gets used up pretty fast.
The other option is to convince her to buy a cheaper droid
tablet such as the Google Nexus. I bought my 9 and 11 girls a
Samsung 7 Tab each last year for their birthday and they love
them. we have an ipad and rarely do they ask to use it
instead of their tablets.
I'm wondering since she has already saved her money, what the previous
conversation or expectations were for her. It sounds like she saved it under
the idea that she would be able to buy. Did you promise? Have you changed
your mind? It is okay to change your mind but just be sensitive in
communicating your feelings and concerns.
That said, there are two aspects to the issue. One is having a goal and saving
money to reach that goal. This is noble of her and she should have some say
in what she gets. But it does not follow that saving money means she can get
whatever she wants. You are the parent. She is still young. The internet is
somewhat dangerous for kids... Not only that, it is addictive and can keep
them from other meaningful activities. Does she have friends with technology
and wants to fit in?
So I might have a talk and ask her why it is important to her (have her write
a list) and tell her though you understand her feelings, that she needs to wait
until an appropriate age to have a computer. Meanwhile go read, ride bikes,
My wife and I just got an iPad for the apartment and our son
(now 6) loves it. However, we've been having trouble finding
good educational games that he both enjoys and learns from.
Can anyone recommend a few good educational iPad apps/games
for kids around his age?
Here are a couple of apps that I've had great experiences
- Angry Birds (not really educational but very addictive)
- Cut the Rope (very addictive brain teasers)
- Math Bingo (bingo game; arithmetic practice)
- Grow Your Garden (practice arithmetic by growing flowers
in a garden)
- Motion Math (learn fractions; though might be difficult
for 6 year old)
Hope this is helpful!!
Parents: I'm interested to find out if any of you are using
the IPad as a learning tool? If so, what applications have
you found useful for pre schoolers?
My kids love SoundBingo - you can play it on the ipad,
itouch or iPhone, it comes with a few games for free, and
they can even play together ! (cooperatively or
You can also buy the 'kit' for $1 or $2, which includes
another dozen games and let's you build your own games,
customized for your child - family, friends, sounds/photos
in their world, or even sounds and words you're targetting
at school or speech therapy. For toddlers the photos are
great, for bigger kids you can switch to words or letters,
or a name-that- tune version for grownups!
They also like NowHearThis which let's you record them, and
edit them, and add sound effects and music, then save them
and/or send them to grandparents. Celeste
this page was last updated: Feb 11, 2014
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are transitioning to a new website during
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network